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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 88

The Sign of the Beaver is an excellent introduction to life among pioneers and Native Americans in the eighteenth-century American colonies. Full of precise detail concerning the tasks and objects that filled everyday life, the novel also contains a good deal of adventure and suspense. Most notable is Speare's insightful and sensitive portrayal of the relations among white settlers and Native Americans. Intertwined with the exciting plot is a strong but not didactic commentary on the tragedy that ensued when settlers forced the Native Americans from their lands.

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Chapter Summaries